April 24, 2010

Her Nest

Nest (nest),n. 1 The bed or receptacle prepared by a bird for its eggs and young.
2. A cozy or snug place in which to live or rest; retreat. 3. To place or settle in or as in a nest.

This is my daughter Hannah's nest, she is age 16 and finishing her senior year, you can see why it is so much fun with my daughter and partner in decorating crime. Her retreat simply inspired by all things peaceful, creamy tones, and whites. We have the weekend to spend some creating time, and adding a little new to her room. She has chosen to move the custom made bed in queen size with a custom paint color we chose for it. The iron bed was casted from original vintage casting that were made for this queen size bed, you might even forget it is not a French antique. We moved the bed closer to the window wall in a niche to free up space for her, this enabled her to place the dresser next to the bed on the same wall leaving plenty of space nest to the bed as well as floor space. We really both love this quaint look and the feel it gives to the room, we then added a all most vintage pulaski marbled top chest and painted it as well as aging it to match her chippy pealed aged with rust an tea stained painted bed. We needed the chest to match the paint job we applied to it to then somewhat match the bed, allowing it to softly blend with out too much drama. The newly painted chest that would have been used as an night stand has now become a foot of the bed stand placed over to the side a bit on the wall of the foot board.

We will be re-doing her mirror an aged white for that euro chic French flea market appeal, also allowing it to stand out and add just enough contrast to the nightstand that now is placed at the foot of the bed wall. We are on the hunt for art this week it will be fun and exciting looking for something that will inspire us for her room. I am sure the art piece will be old as well as beat up looking, with a bit of a bohemian elegant flare to it, something in the tones of driftwood with silvery whites I hope.

The cotton curtain panels are twin size sheets with a good thread count for that great relaxed wrinkled look to them. By the way the sheet panels were a much better buy then designer curtain panels, and will be much easier to care for long term. The best part of using the sheets are, you have no sewing to do to them, you will just launder and dry them in your dryer to remove any sizing in them and the little shrinkage that takes place will bind the thread count up to a beautiful look and feel to them. When you go to hang them you will use curtain clamp rings and fold a 2 inch band across the top of sheet panels, then clamp the rings to the fabric and run the rings on your rod. This is a easy cost effective designer look, not to mention the big reward is the savings and you will not believe the complete statement they make.

I am soooo! thankful that my daughter Hannah has my passion for all things euro flea market chic. Her friends will say, this is not a teens room, "where are all the posters" what about the leopard prints, no zebra! She always smiles because she knows that all her friends love to come and hang out after a school dance in her nest.

April 17, 2010

From The Garden... To The Butter Knife

By now you have all figured out that "I must not like to relax ever" or creating is my form of relaxation. I have created these little European flea market pretties because the gardens are starting to bloom and that's when we love to start filling up all those pretty little flower vases throughout our homes as if we just made a trip to our favorite florist. I am going to explain and show you some of the silver bud vases I have created out of the handles of vintage silver flatware knives.

The fun part is rummaging the flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and gathering up your odd matching butter or flatware knives to start creating. When you have a nice selection of them it is time to go to work. You will want to use a good gripping pair of pliers, holding tight to the handle of the knife and with the pliers you will wiggle back and forth the tip of the knife until you have loosened it enough to pull it out. When you have accomplished this small task, that is if you want to look at it that way, you will want to then use an ice pick or tool of this sort to dig out the compound inside the handle of the knife. The compound holds the tip of the knife in place to secure the handle, you may happened to have gotten a knife or two that are already hollow and if that happens you will say to yourself, why can't they all be made like this. The compound will crumble out like hard plaster, you will dig and probe until you have a hollowed out handle and this is really not as hard as it sounds.

When you have the handle hollowed out you will want to cut the end off with a fine saw blade capable of doing this kind of cut, you may want to place it in a vice to saw through a bit more evenly. Some of the knives you may even be able to just cut the ends off if the blade does not continue deep into the handle, this makes your job a lot easier for you. This is why I mentioned you will want to get a nice selection of knives together for this project, due to the time and effort you have to put into making them, you will find it a lot more rewarding when you make a few at once then just one or two. The finishing touch is to drill a small hole at the top and only on one side careful drilling, so as to not accidently go all the way through to the other side. You only want one hole on one side so you can place a suction cap with the attached wire hook and threading the wire hook through the hole and suctioning the cap to a beautiful glass surface, you may also make a wire ring through the hole and hang it from a small hook on any surface you desire. The final step is your choice, you can fill the handle up with water for live flowers or leave it empty for a place to dry a small bundle of Lavender the way I have shown pictured.

I know this sounds like more then you want to tackle, but the joy of restyling vintage knife handles that have become a group of bud vases will become one of your favorites that you will be proud of. These silver wall pocket vases would be a great gift to give for Mother's day or a birthday, most of all a just because I adore you gift...I hope I have inspired you to go on the hunt for discarded flatware and breath new life into them.

April 13, 2010

No Velvet Ropes In This House...Just Paper Crowns

No VELVET ROPES in this house, just PAPER CROWNS... Give a friend or loved one the royal treatment with a gift that says you are the queen or king in your castle.
I had so much fun making these simple paper crowns not to mention, they can add a piece of art to a special place in your home. I have been accused of papering everything my hands touch, or asked what next will I paper, Hmmm! what next I have asked myself as well, over and over...
when you go to a craft supply store or party shop you have a great choice of paper goods, but when you just want that little edge to your party plan or unique paper goods you just sometimes have to make it. I am going to let you in on a little secret here, I got this idea when I saw a group of small children leaving a Burger King fast food place and wearing there paper crowns proudly, I said wow maybe I can step it up a bit and make some paper crowns that make paper proud to become paper crowns.
I think these crowns can be also given with a gift tag attached simply telling Mom she is the queen on Mothers day and more then unique card that tells Dad he's the king on fathers day. A special creative fun birthday party and just a piece of art for your little princesses room. Anyone who wants to make one just cut out copies of your master crown pattern on bendable heavy weight poster board and start layering paper on it with simple glue. I like to find my scarps of paper from prints I like to tear out of the old cast off magazines and books then cutting out inspirational words to glue on it here and there. I then take glue and staple to the ends to secure it together and then line the inside of the paper crown with tissue paper and then painting a messy job of gold paint to the inside of it, you can add a special touch by signing your name and dating it to recall a special date or occasion.

You can then by choice add a finishing touch to the crowns outside by splashes of paint and antiquing it with a glaze to then sealing it with a spray sealer this way it will last and out last most of your paper art.
You can use romantic love letter book pages as I did on the smaller crown and trim it off with boarders of great gift wrapping, you will want to then add book page words across the crown from fairytale book pages or a poetry book to express your fond message of endearment, also not forgetting to add sparkling rhinestones so it appears to be stately.
I hope you are inspired to make a poetic paper crown, just add your touch to it and be creative with it.

April 09, 2010

Gypsy Cottage Influenced Tassels

I want to share with you how I made these gypsy cottage influenced tassels. I am constantly on the look out for vintage hardware, fabrics and scraps of this and thats, pieces that would fit in with the French and gypsy at heart.

If I was a simple piece of hand-me-down fabric, this is exactly what I would want to be. In keeping with this European flea market gypsy style tassel, I made tattered rag strips by tearing strips of fabrics half inch in widths and 22" long. I then washed and dryed them in the dryer this way they will look even more tattered and wrinkled.

Taking about 8 strips and using a 9th strip as a tie, you then take the 8 strips halfway point tying the 9th strip around the 8 in a tight knot. You then take a vintage glass knob, wood or metal drawer knob pull that has a hole all the way through it and run both ends of the strip of fabric you tired around the 8 strips up through the bottom of the knob through the top of knob tying that in a knot at the top of the knob as well, then tie off the top so you can hang it. You can buy or make a creative cotton flower sewing a vintage button in the center and a piece of tattered braided cotton lace to the back of the rosette, those ties will tie around the base of the drawer pull knob above the knot allowing the ties to hang and mix in with your tattered strips.

Finding or making pieces of art will embellish and charm your tassels adding lots of personality. I love to take random or meaningful words, about 2 to 6 words torn from old pages of a tattered with wear book. I will tear a strip of a book page of words then aged the strip with paints that I have watered down and glued to cardboards. I then add a small hole at the end of it, taking an old aged safety pin I then pin the book tag to a strip of fabric. I also make sure to tie some of the ends of the strips into a messy knot, this will only add to the charm of the gypsy cottage tassels, perfectly imperfect.

These tassels are going to my shop in hopes that they will be used in a number of creative ways, perhaps curtian tiebacks or adorn a door knob or a drawer pull or two, they can be used just about anywhere your style desires.

I want to ACKNOWLEDG Kim at WhiteWhispers2u.blogspot.com and thank her for gifting me this wonderful piece of muslin fabric, who in turn thanks Shellagh at TickingandToile.blogspot.com for gifting to her the muslin fabric and passing it onto me. What better way to recycle and restyle a simple piece of muslin fabric into a tattered tassel.
"Inspiring you to create your own tassels."

April 02, 2010

Say It On A Blackboard

MIRROR MIRROR on the wall, why did you end up on a THRIFT STORE wall. This was a great unique vintage mirror find at a local thrift store and my thoughts were I had to have it. The mirror was framed in dark solid wood and all I could see is a cafe style blackboard and oh so practical. I removed the mirror down to it's bare frame stripping and sanding it then using my aging paint techniques with a distressed look. I needed the paint on this piece to appear as if it had been untouched for years, mounted on a weathered cafe wall announcing it's specials for the day. I painted it using white, French gray and cashmere tones, this way it would assure a look that it was distressed with age. It was distressed in areas that this piece would have taken on naturally as if it were found at a European flea market. I then replaced the mirror with a piece of paneling that I primed then painted with a slate chalkboard paint, it was then buffed out and screwed into the frame menu board style.

I love that a framed blackboard European cafe style acts as a piece of art to a room, as well as function. It can charm a room with a planned menu, inspirational sayings, as well as encouraging daily quotes.
A blackboard can conjure up in most of us, those old scary feelings of being called to the front of the classroom to solve a problem.... A blackboard like this fashioned in vintage menu board style, will only beckon you to leave a sweet message.